Dry January would be too easy

Health is a very important part of living a good life. I normally take quite good care of myself, workout, eat well, walk a lot and dance a few times a week. November and December roll along and temptation is everywhere you look.

The Christmas markets draw me in, I can try something new for lunch every day for a fortnight while I enjoy the atmosphere of the market. There are speciality cheese stalls that are too delicious to resist and, worse still, speciality sweet stalls packed with things I can take home and enjoy later, frequently with a glass or two of something festive.

Add in a visit to family over the holidays and I find I have to fasten my belt one notch looser than before. Luckily, staying quite active normally, it’s no more than a few pounds to lose and that goes quite quickly, but what about the effects this is having on my body and health beyond weight?

Enter Dry January, this is my 10th year of starting the year with a month completely free of alcohol, I always feel great by the end. This is the 3rd January that I have also gone caffeine free for the month, and this year, I’m adding Veganuary – a month without meat, fish, dairy to the mix. The nuclear option!

What have I noticed so far? Well, I was drinking rather a lot of caffeine for the last couple of months of 2018, so the first 4 days of 2019 I had a terrible headache from the withdrawal. The next 3 I still had a mild headache and trouble concentrating. Now I feel that I have far better concentration and that my sleep quality has improved. I’m having very pleasant dreams that I can remember clearly in the morning and I wake up early feeling refreshed and looking forward to my meditation and exercise. Will I quit caffeine for good? No, I love my early morning earl grey, my late morning coffee and my weekend pot of jasmine pearl tea. I will go back to that again, but I won’t be drinking pots of tea and coffee in the late evening while still hoping for a good quality sleep.

The vegan diet is proving a bit more difficult, not for health reasons, I feel great, but my culinary skills are mostly of a pescatarian and occasional meat eater rather than a vegan. I’m trying new things and I’ve sourced a few great recipes from the internet, but I’ll keep trying to build on this throughout this year and hopefully next January will be a walk in the park as far as cooking is concerned. Recipes and resources are very welcome!

The month of sobriety is easy enough, the hard part is socialising. In the past I didn’t really see much of my friends for a whole month which made things quite boring. This year I’ve had visitors and cooked them my favourite vegan dishes, accompanied with coconut water. The dance school I go to has frequent social dancing evenings. I’ve been able to go along, dance the night away, and wake up the next day hangover free.

I remember my first sober January, I only gave up alcohol and, although I felt healthier, I was fairly miserable. Framing things differently has made this year, although my most restrictive yet, the easiest and the happiest of all the dry January experiences I’ve had. Just shows, how we view things has a huge impact on how we experience them.

Hypnotherapy, coaching and NLP can help us with framing. Doing the work I’ve been doing over these last couple of years has helped enormously with this. If you need help please get in touch

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